It is critical to know how to steer clear of ticks in the woods, but what about in and around your home? Ticks seem to thrive in the humid, Atlanta weather, which means you should do everything you can to get rid of them before they cause you and your loved ones any harm this season. Ticks are parasites that carry bacteria and disease. Not only is your blood their ideal meal, but in the process of sucking your blood, they put you at risk of contracting several diseases such as Spotted Fever, Anaplamosis, Ehrilchiosis and Lyme disease.
Lyme disease can produce headache, fever, and other undesirable symptoms. Without proper Lyme disease treatment, the disease can linger on for years with a wide range of side effects that range from joint pain to memory loss, according to the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. The longer a tick is attached, the higher your chances are of being infected. First symptoms include a bull’s eye rash, followed by flu-like symptoms. Finding the tick and removing it as early as possible is the best way to protect from bacteria transmission.
Keeping ticks out of your yard means making your yard less attractive to ticks, and also less attractive to animals that carry ticks, like mice and deer. Ticks flourish in damp, shady, brushy or high grass areas, where they can wait for a person or an animal to pass by. The tick detects carbon dioxide and body warmth and waits for direct contact with a passing person or animal, and then latches on and hitches a ride-and a meal. To avoid becoming a tick’s next meal, here are a few ways to help prevent a tick infestation in and around your home.
- Mow the lawn and get rid of debris: Prevent places for ticks to hang out. Keep lawns cut short and mow the grass regularly. Be sure to remove all debris, brush, and leaf litter piles from your yard, especially at the edge of your lawn, to eliminate ticks’ favorite hangout spots. The disposal of all empty bird and rodent nesting materials is also necessary, as ticks will readily infest these items.
- Keep your skin covered when walking in high grass: Ticks will crawl around to find a sufficient spot to feast, so the less bare skin, the better chance of brushing it off before attachment occurs. Try your best to dodge brushing against vegetation when going on a wooded trail or high grassy area. Wear long pants and tuck your pant legs into your socks so that ticks cannot reach your skin.
- Perform tick checks on you and your pets: Thoroughly inspect all areas of the body including the hair. Don’t forget to check your pets, especially if they have been outside or in high grass or wooded areas. Be sure to check your pets behind the ears and between the toes. Consult with your veterinarian to find the prevention and treatment option that works for you. Wash pet bedding and toys frequently. Ticks can also become a problem if there are suitable tick hosts living in the crawl space or attic. Other animals may bring ticks inside to their nests, burrows, roosts or other living spaces.
- De-clutter your home: Although ticks are found outdoors, indoor infestations of the brown dog tick are not uncommon. The first step in getting rid of these ticks is to de-clutter your home, because ticks hide almost anywhere. Pick up items off of the floor, and don’t leave dirty laundry lying around.
- Wash dirty clothes in hot water: Ticks attach to dirty clothing or bed linens. Wash clothes or linens you suspect may be tick-infected in the hottest water suitable for the fabric type. Avoid leaving dirty laundry on the floor, and if you suspect any clothes or linens might have ticks, do not put them in the laundry hamper, because this will contaminate the other clothes. Put them straight into the washing machine.
If you find an attached tick, remove it promptly. Be sure to completely remove it from the bite mark, especially its head. Do not twist or jerk to get it off. Use tweezers around the tick as close to the point of attachment as possible and remove with a firm pull. If you suspect a tick infestation in or around your home, you should contact a pest control professional.
Tick infestations are dangerous to the health of your loved ones and pets, so it is best to seek treatment immediately. If you think you have a tick infestation, contact Any Pest, Inc. today! We have the knowledge and experience to treat a tick infestation correctly to keep you and your pets tick-free this season, so call today for a free consultation.